Monday, November 18, 2013

Mind Tricks of Delayed Gratification

How A Scientist Tricks His Brain Into Solving Ultra-Complex Problems.

I've been talking about this type of thing for decades, tricks involved with thought and action. I'm going to delve a little  beyond what this video is really about. Have you ever had to get around your own desires at times, in order to do what is right or what needs to be done?

My inner conscious self, knows what I need to do, stripped away from my needs and desires. Need and desire are peripheral to the central core of consciousness, in my mind anyway. I can clearly "see" the separateness most of the time. I don't know if we are all like that, as some certainly don't seem to see this at all, but it's how it seems to work in my head.

Discipline is a very good way to go, and there is a huge range of degrees of discipline between people, but sometimes it falls short of action, or can even be counter-productive in one's own psyche. I seem to have a higher degree of that, out of necessity just to have survived my own childhood. But we need more than simply to do what is right or needed all the time. We need reward, pleasure, satiation, but in the right ways. Ways that do not always come through discipline, doing what is right, or what is needed.

Tricking oneself, tricking in some cases others, manipulating them into the correct course(s) of action is not as evil as it sounds. If it sounds manipulative, it is. But we already are all manipulative to one another on a daily, hourly basis. The difference here has to do with acting without thought and, conscious thought and consideration toward a hopefully better good for those involved.

Our normal manipulations, the ones we are unaware of, tend to be selfish in nature as we don't usually think about them; they are tapped into our inner selves and are therefore, selfish. In many cases they are not good for all involved. What we want sometimes is not what is best of us. Some of us see that more clearly than others. This doesn't mean we need an elitist society, it means we already have one. Human nature is simply like that.

In simply considering all this with as the Buddhists call it, "right thought", we can make a better self, or an even better world around us. I don't get my daily exercise routine done much of the time through simple will power, rather I get it done through tricks of my mind, my desires and laziness. So how is it bad if I trick myself to do what needs to be done when I don't want to?

In example, I was sitting around today watching shows stored on my DVR. I couldn't get myself to do much of anything. I'm having a really bad neck pain the past few days and it's hard to do much more than recline on the couch and stare at something. But that being said, after I had watched a few shows this morning, I found and started a movie that I had recorded and have been looking forward to watching since even before he hit the theaters.

I started to watching it and realized that I was very much engaged, really wanting to watch it. Aha! Found something I really want. I immediately saw a reward I could use. Then I thought about my list of things to do. I have an edit to do of a part of my book that I need to finish and send back to my editor. So there it is. I stopped the movie and started editing. Once I sent off the edited pages, I could then relax and watch the movie.

This isn't so much "tricking" myself into doing something as much as it is finding a way to properly motivate myself. The problem there for some of us is that I have to be the reward giver. "Delayed gratification" can be a great thing. It is something that modern Americans seem to have forgotten about. Certainly it's something that college students are very familiar with as it's the only way to get a college degree. But in daily life how much do we make use of it? Not enough I'm willing to bet.

When a friend wants to take just one more shot of heroin (or pot, alcohol, pills, even go back to a bad relationship) and yet you know that will most likely be their last, how is it bad that we... okay, maybe bad example(s), as some things are simply out of our control; but many times by consideration and action, we can make things better around us. And, we don't when frequently all it takes is the right word or action and then waiting for it to take seed and sprout into a better situation, a better person, a way.

Anyway, I think you get the idea.

Whether it's "mind tricks" or "delayed gratification", we own our bodies and minds. We own our lives, mostly, except for some incarcerated or enslaved individuals. We can make choices. When those are problematic, we can choose to work around these issues and still see things get done. It takes though and practice and allowing one to succeed, to suspend belief perhaps, but to see whatever it is brought through to fruition, to completion.

Try it! Go forth and become a trickster. In all the right ways.

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